Virtual-Only Shareholder Meetings: The Good, Bad &
year, we see more companies electing to hold virtual-only shareholder
meetings, for which the benefits are clear: (1) it’s easier to
coordinate; (2) it’s less expensive; and (3) most annual meetings
don’t amount to much. However, the disadvantages of virtual-only
meetings loom large for certain investors.
active investors and pension funds like the NYC Comptroller’s Office
spoken out against the practice, claiming that virtual-only
meetings “deprive shareowners of important rights” and “stifle
criticism”. Additionally, the Council of Institutional Investors (CII)
taken the stance that virtual meetings should be used only as a
supplement to traditional in-person meetings, not a substitute.
episode of Inside America’s Boardrooms is broadcast from our new
studio location at
The Conference Board in New York City. We welcome back Doug
Chia, Executive Director of The Conference Board
Governance Center, to debate the pros and cons of virtual-only
shareholder meetings—and to predict what actions investors may take
against the practice.
I think everybody would agree that
most corporations and executives are trying to do the right
thing—they’re trying to run their business for the benefit of the
stakeholders…The problem is the bad actors are the ones that get
most of the attention and really create the mistrust of corporate
America that we’ve seen building over the years.
— Doug Chia, Executive Director, The Conference Board Governance
Kerstetter and Chia discuss current trends in virtual shareholder
meetings and explain what advantages and disadvantages boards should
consider as they assess whether virtual-only meetings are suitable for